From the North to South and East to West

October 11, 2021

Once Abraham arrives in the Land of Israel, there are many descriptions of the geography of the land, as if God has to familiarize and orient our Patriarch to his new surroundings.

In ancient times, one was oriented by the rising sun – which is in fact where the word comes from since the sun emerges first from the east, the Orient. In Hebrew, the word for east Kedem means ‘forward’ or ‘front’, and the west is either referred to as yam, meaning ‘sea’ or achor, meaning ‘back’ hence the Mediterranean Sea is known as Yam Ha’acharon, the sea to the rear. Accordingly, south is referred to as teiman, meaning to the ‘right’ whereas the north is called smol, meaning to the ‘left’, as in the description of Abraham’s pursuit of the five kings in Genesis 14:15, “and he pursued them until Hova which was to the left (north) of Damascus.”

It is therefore interesting and significant that Hashem changes the orientation in Genesis 13:14. After Abraham and Lot part ways, God tells our forefather, to “lift up your eyes and look from the place you are to the north, south, east, and west.” Why doesn’t the Torah use the common orientation here of first east to west and only then, north to south?

Clearly, here God is not orienting Abraham, but blessing him. In verse 15, God continues and tells Abraham to look as far as the eye can see, “for all the land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever.” See the ancient land that God gave Avraham with our ancient map of Israel.

Watch as Abraham himself explains the significance of the directions to The Israel Bible’s very own Rabbi Tuly Weisz:

Rabbi Tuly Weisz

Rabbi Tuly Weisz is the founder of Israel365 and the editor of “The Israel Bible,” the first Bible dedicated to highlighting the relationship between the Land and the People of Israel. Rabbi Tuly is a columnist for Israel365news, the Jerusalem Post, Fox News and Newsmax who writes passionately about Israel, the Bible and Jewish-Christian relations. In addition to his writings, Rabbi Tuly has appeared alongside Alan Dershowitz on ILTV, on CBN’s “700 Club”, Daystar, Israel National News, TBN and numerous other television appearances. Rabbi Weisz attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (JD) and served as the Rabbi of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio before making Aliyah to Israel. Rabbi Tuly lives with his wife and is blessed with 6 children and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

Rabbi Tuly Weisz

Rabbi Tuly Weisz is the founder of Israel365 and the editor of “The Israel Bible,” the first Bible dedicated to highlighting the relationship between the Land and the People of Israel. Rabbi Tuly is a columnist for Israel365news, the Jerusalem Post, Fox News and Newsmax who writes passionately about Israel, the Bible and Jewish-Christian relations. In addition to his writings, Rabbi Tuly has appeared alongside Alan Dershowitz on ILTV, on CBN’s “700 Club”, Daystar, Israel National News, TBN and numerous other television appearances. Rabbi Weisz attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (JD) and served as the Rabbi of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio before making Aliyah to Israel. Rabbi Tuly lives with his wife and is blessed with 6 children and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

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